Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Let's Make a (Mormon) Deal!

I wrote briefly about the Mormon afterlife in a previous post, but focused mainly on what Mormons believe happened before we were born.  I wish to spend this time clarifying what Mormons believe happens to us when we die.  

The Mormon afterlife can be somewhat complicated, so bare with me as I explain this.  As with anything in the Mormon belief system, their beliefs are Christian on steroids.  The first thing to understand with “Heaven” for Mormons, is they don’t exactly believe in a duality of options.  It’s not Heaven or Hell for a Mormon.  It’s this planet, that planet or that planet.  Or utter destruction too is an option.  Oh, and one of the planetary systems is further broken up into three sections.  You thought Donald Trump’s wall was bad?  “You know nothing John Snow.”

Let’s start at the bottom, or next to the bottom of your potential afterlife.  This planet is referred to as the “Telestial Kingdom”.  On this planet, you will find all those horrible people who committed all sorts of atrocities.  It embraces those who on earth willfully reject the gospel of Jesus Christ, and commit serious sins such as murder, adultery, lying, and loving to make a lie (but yet do not commit the unpardonable sin), and who do not repent in mortality.   So some bad people are going to be there.   Even to go to the Telestial Kingdom, you’ll first need to accept Jesus.  If you’re worried, don’t be, because you will still have a chance to accept Jesus even after death, thanks to the super awesome mormon temples.  Downside is neither God or Jesus visit this world.

“And the glory of the telestial is one, even as the glory of the stars is one; for as one star differs from another star in glory, even so differs one from another in glory in the telestial world”. (D&C 76:98)

So depending on a conglomerate of choices you make, there’s differing glories even in the Telestial Kingdom.  The beauty and glory of the Telestial Kingdom, even though it’s the least glorious post mortal planet, still surpasses our feeble understanding.  The Telestial Kingdom is likened to the “glory” of the stars.

The next step up from the telestial world is the terrestrial world.  The terrestrial glory is for those who lived honorable lives on the earth but "were blinded by the craftiness of men" and were "not valiant in the testimony of Jesus."  Also, those who did not receive a testimony of Jesus while on earth, but who could have done so except for their neglect.  Again, just like with the Telestial Kingdom, you must accept the Jesus at some point before being granted this glory.  God will not visit you here, but at least Jesus will.

“And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.  Behold, these are they who died without law; And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh; Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it. These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.” (D&C 76:71-75)

Joseph Smith likened the “glory” of the Terrestrial Kingdom to the brightness of the Moon, as seen from the earth of course.  Sometimes I wonder about ol’ Joe’s understanding of astronomy, because the next Kingdom has been likened to the Sun; and we all know our sun is simply another star.

The Celestial Kingdom is the best.  Not just because my auto correct keeps trying to change “telestial” to it, but because the Celestial Kingdom is where you’ll find God.  Celestial glory comes to those "who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized by total immersion,…and who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which God sheds forth upon all those who are just and true”. Mormons believe this very Earth we live on will one day die and be resurrected just like Jesus.  When it does, this Earth will become a Celestial Kingdom.  Both God and Jesus live here, so you're in for a real treat.

But wait, there’s more!

Within the Celestial Kingdom, are three separations of “glory”.  How super awesome you were at being a Mormon will determine where at in the Celestial Kingdom you end up.  You have to accept Mormonism in this life though to go anywhere in this kingdom, unless it simply wasn't made available to you, then you can still accept it in the next life.  To get in the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom, a Mormon must be married.  Not only do you need to be married, but you also have to have gone to the temple with your wife, where you can be married for all eternity.  Only Mormons have the power to tie your knot for all eternity.

Once there in the best part of the Celestial Kingdom, you can now start your progression to become a god!  Yay!  That is the end goal of all Mormons, to become gods and have a bunch of wives in the Celestial Kingdom.  Yes, you heard me right, WIVES.  Mormons still believe in the concept of polygamy.  Many Mormons today are married (sealed in the temple) to multiple wives.  This practice never ceased when the Mormon church disavowed polygamy in 1890.  Those who’s wife had died, or even divorced, then remarried, can in fact be “sealed” to more than one wife at the same time.  Remember, women are made for making babies and that’s it, and when the man is a god, he’s gonna need a lot of babies.

There is still one more possible end result for us in the next life, and that place is called Outer Darkness.  Outer Darkness is reserved for people who refuse to accept Jesus, even in the next life.  By doing so they choose to follow Satan, and as such make their beds with him in Outer Darkness.  Also, those that had once accepted the Mormon church and then turned their back, may also end up there.  The actual terminology is “denying the Holy Ghost”.  To deny the Holy Ghost means to have received the Holy Ghost and afterwards, deny him completely.  Many will say, those who leave the church are guilty of this unpardonable sin and are doomed to Outer Darkness.  Since they once had a testimony, then denied the testimony later.  

So there you have it.  The Mormon afterlife.  It’s not too complicated I hope.  Oh sure it’s a bit farfetched, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true.  You can’t prove it doesn’t exist right?  After all, God personally told all this to Joseph Smith and he was a straight shooter.  On second thought, I hear Outer Darkness is really nice this time of year.

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